The Chiefs head coach said repeatedly that he put Kadarius Toney in a bad position to make plays in Week 1.
That Kadarius Toney was able to play for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 at all was supposed to be an achievement. After the fact, it felt like the opposite. But for those who want to pile blame on Toney for the Chiefs' loss to the Detroit Lions in primetime to begin the season, head coach Andy Reid has a message for you: the blame belongs to him.
To review, the Chiefs came into Thursday Night Football last week ready to celebrate their Super Bowl win last winter with "Banner Night" while simultaneously beginning their title defense with a game against an ascending young roster. Instead of showing the Lions how a team at the next level plays, however, it was the Chiefs who played like an inexperienced young team, especially on offense, where numerous drives were stalled by careless errors and costly penalties.
For Toney in particular, the night was cruel as he dropped three passes, including one that sailed right through his hands and into the waiting grasp of Lions safety Brian Branch. Branch promptly took it in for a pick-six. Another drop cost the Chiefs a field goal at game's end. You can imagine the fury over Toney's performance in a game decided by a single point.
As the Chiefs returned to practice for another week and a look ahead to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, Reid spoke to reporters on Monday and said he has to look in the mirror as to what went wrong with Toney.
“To be fair, I’ve gotta kinda look him in the mirror on that one. I probably didn’t put him in the best position there, because he doesn’t drop the ball. That’s just not his deal. He’s a very, very secure catcher. And I just think that the only way we’re gonna get him back is playing him. I think this week will be different than the last week, but I thought it was important that he got in the game, got caught up on the speed, but I probably put him in bad positions…”
The Chiefs hold Toney in high regard after dealing for him a year ago shortly before the NFL's mid-season trade deadline. While Toney had issues staying healthy, he was able to supply the Chiefs with some much-needed dynamism on offense and special teams to carry them over the edge for their second championship in the last four seasons.